Maternity clothes are a necessary evil. They only work for a few months at most and they’re expensive to boot. Of course, if you plan on getting pregnant multiple times, you don’t feel as bad about having to buy $30 jeans that you can only wear for maybe five months, if you are one of those women who pops early in pregnancy.
When you are a working mother with children under 5, it should be common knowledge that there is no such thing as a day off — unless your kids are in daycare during your day off. I was on my own with the boys, and the previous week, was considering a trip with them to visit their dad’s office in Santa Ana using public transportation so they could ride the train. I nixed this plan for several reasons — too ambitious to do on my own, too hot, and finally, Metrolink suspended its service on Labor Day. Plan B was to take them to the splash pad where we had Chris’ first birthday party. We got there early and…..there was no water. At a splash pad. We stuck it out for an hour — and Chris had a great time running around the park, forcing me to chase after him. Plan C was to take them to a shopping center we frequented before moving — but then they were both scared of the splash pad. After a short time at a dry playground in the same shopping center, I gave up, we picked up lunch (at Zankou, because that was Mama’s treat) and went home. After we all ate and the boys were watching TV shows on my phone, I saw Mikey starting to nod off in his seat. So I hustle them upstairs for nap time. My Labor Day rest consisted of about an hour of uninterrupted screening time for “Taken 2.”
…and I’m never doing it again.
I did everything right. I gave myself a month to prepare. I had it on the first of the month. I put out a bunch of really cheap baby gear, clothes and toys for sale. I advertised in multiple places. I put up a bunch of visible signs, pointing to my house. I made everything really neat and attractive. But circumstances just seemed to be against me.
First off, I love where I live. It’s at the end of our complex, away from the driveway, so its almost always nice and quiet and we get a lot of sunshine. But for garage sale purposes, my location was the worst. I suspect no one could find us.
Second, while I avoided having our garage sale on a holiday weekend and waited for the first of the month, it also happened to be the hottest frigging day of the year yet. Just great.
Anyway, setting up for this garage sale took up a big chunk of my “vacation.” On Tuesday, after having lunch at Neptune’s Net with my friend Sam, she went with me to the Dollar Store so we could pick up clothespins, clips, garage sale signs, drop clothes and price stickers. I spent about $15 on garage sale supplies. She also helped me move most of the stuff that had been upstairs, downstairs.
Wednesday and Thursday was spent arranging clothes on the pole in our garage, moving things from in our living room into the garage and also clearing the garage so the stuff that was not for sale would be in there. Friday was the worst. I felt like I was completely unprepared and was totally stressing out that the garage sale was supposed to be the next day, but I hadn’t priced stuff, stuff needed to be arranged, etc. Yeah, never doing this again.
The day of the sale, I was walking at about 7:15 a.m. to go post the signs and I saw a car U-turn and drive up to me. She was interested in…Tommy Bahama shirts. (Hahah, happy Father’s Day!) She wanted to get first pick at the clothes, but I told her my kids were still asleep and I couldn’t open till 8 a.m. Anyway, there were little rushes here and there, but honestly, what I’d read — that baby gear would be most popular and men and women’s clothes didn’t sell well? Totally the opposite. No one bought any baby gear. I sold a bunch of men and women’s clothes.
Oh, what was my profit? Don’t laugh. I made a whopping $47.
So yeah. Garage sale was a bust, and now I’m back to Craigslist. I’m never having a garage sale ever again. I appreciate that it made me organize my house and now I know exactly what I want to get rid of….but still. I’m never doing it again.
- Alex Pham leaves Los Angeles Times for a job that gives her more flexibility | JIMROMENESKO.COM